‘Price rise will see Manmohan’s exit’

The spiralling rise in the prices of essential commodities will lead to Manmohan Singh’s exit from office, “but what is more dangerous is that Narendra Modi is trying to replace him as Prime Minister,” the former West Bengal Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, said on Friday.

If the BJP’s prime ministerial aspirant were to be successful, it would mean “disaster” for the country, Mr. Bhattacharjee cautioned speaking at a rally here in North 24 Parganas district.

In West Bengal, he said, the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP entered into a secret agreement not to expose each other’s misdeeds. Hinting at a possible alliance between these two parties for the Lok Sabha elections, he said that at present they were “exchanging flowers, but very soon there will be an exchange of garlands.”

‘Trinamool has failed’

Mr. Bhattacharjee, who is a member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said the Trinamool government had failed on all fronts. Added to this were untruths it kept uttering about its achievements.

“It is claiming to have completed 90 per cent work with regard to Muslims,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said, wondering what had been achieved to improve their lot. “On the contrary, the government has succeeded in insulting imams by promising them an honorarium — something that was not legally tenable and which the government was well aware of.”

In the industrial scene, he said, not a single factory came up after the Trinamool assumed power. Instead, its activists were extorting money from owners of industries set up by the Left Front government to such an extent that they now wanted to leave the State, the CPI(M) leader alleged.

And what was the government doing about the thousands of unemployed youth? “I have been reiterating that unemployment can never be solved unless industries come up.”